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West Philly's X-Kids45:17
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West Philly Hybrid X team at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
West Philly Hybrid X team at the Harley-Davidson Museum.

So how about a plucky group of inner-city kids from West Philadelphia led by a visionary teacher?

They come from a world of crack houses and gang wars, but they’re winning awards for cutting-edge green auto design.

This hour, On Point: from Philly’s mean streets — inspiration, hope, and maybe, the cars of the future.

You can join the conversation. Have you heard of these smart-as-a-whip kids and their hybrids that are taking all the prizes? What’s your vision for the car of the future? And if this group of students can design the car of the future, why can’t Detroit?Guests:

Simon Hauger, founder and team director of the West Philly Hybrid X Team, which is currently developing an entry in the Progressive Automotive X Prize called the EVX. For the last 14 years, he has taught math and science was an administrator at the Auto Academy at West Philadelphia High School.

Jacques Wells, an 11th grade student at West Philadelphia High School and member of the team. His focus is managing the website and doing design and marketing research for the project.

Marquia Baylor, a 12th grade student at West Philadelphia High School and member of the team. Her focus is marketing for the project.

Ryan Chin, member of MIT Media Lab’s Smart Cities Group. He and his colleagues are building what they call the “car of the future” — a stackable, electric, shared two-passenger city vehicle — in collaboration with General Motors.

More links:

The Hybrid X Team's site features photos and descriptions of the award-winning cars they have already designed: the K1 Attack, the Electric Saturn SL2, and the Hybrid Jeep Wrangler. You can also watch videos of the cars and the team in action, like this one of the K1 Attack:

This program aired on November 14, 2008.

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